Some of the more serious traffic offences
- Drink driving offences (see separate post for this offence);
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/hour;
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/hour;
- Driving at a speed dangerous to the public;
- Driving in a manner dangerous dangerous to the public;
- Driving whilst disqualified, cancelled or suspended; and,
- Negligent driving occasioning death or grievous bodily harm.
If you have been issued with a notice to attend court ( also called a CAN or Court Attendance Notice) for a more serious traffic offence you may receive a heavy fine, a lengthy disqualification period and/or a gaol term. You may accrue numerous demerit points that could result in your licence being suspended. It will be in your best interests to ensure that you have competent legal representation.
Some of the more minor traffic offences
- Speeding -Radar and speed cameras;
- Negligent driving;
- Failure to stop;
- Failure to give way;
- Camera detected offences; and
- Many other offences listed in the Australian Road Rules.
If you have received a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN) or a notice to attend court, you will have to pay a fine or take the matter to court for either a defended hearing or a plea in mitigation. Demerit points are accrued to you licence if you are found guilty and you licence could be suspended.
Camera detected offences
If you have been detected for a camera offence then there are a number of issues of legal procedure. For example, there must be certificates issued as to the accuracy of the instrument before and after the date of the offence. Was there another vehicle in the photograph? Has your speedometer been calibrated?
Some things you should know about how the prosecution must prove the offence
Traffic offences are heard as criminal offences and the court must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt. Many driving offences are what are called strict liability offences. With these offences the prosecution does not have to prove that you had any intent to commit the offence as they do in many other criminal matters. You may have a defence however, called the Proudman and Dayman defence. With this defence it will be a lawful excuse if you had an honest mistake of fact based on reasonable grounds. It is a two stage defence where the first stage is an honest belief based on your subjective characteristics and the second stage is based on reasonable grounds which is an objective standard meaning what a reasonable person would consider reasonable in the circumstances. It is an important distinction to note that an honest mistake of fact is not an honest mistake of law. As you can see, working out if you have a defence to a prosecution for a traffic offence can be complicated. The Local Court Lawyers are in an excellent position to use their knowledge and experience to help you make the right decisions to get you the best overall result.